When you boil it down, networking is having relationships. Having friends.
Then why does the very concept make most of us FEEL uncomfortable? So icky. Are you cringing a little, right now, just thinking about it?
For this, you can thank your Social Survival Mammoth. This guy kept popping up, relentlessly, in my mind while I was researching networking for people who hate networking.
The Social Survival Mammoth is the name author Tim Urban at Wait But Why gave to the part of our subconscious that still thinks it’s 50,000 B.C. when we depended on being universally accepted and allowed to stay in our tribe. Your Mammoth does not want you to risk getting noticed or ask anything of anyone, lest you come off as weird, get kicked out of the community, and eaten by wild animals.
He is why most people hate networking.
Before I knew about my Mammoth, I would go to conferences for different magazines I wrote for and look around thinking everyone else knew some secret. I asked a LOT of people for their networking tactics over the years and held onto the very best.
The three most important networking lessons I picked up:
- The most connected people I know are warm in person and super systematic behind the scenes. They keep categorized spreadsheets with notes about their contacts.
- Ineffective networkers think things “just happen” if they “put themselves out there” but don’t do the work to find out what that means. The idea of connected people being so methodical scandalizes them.
- Knowing the best networking systems is not enough. Most of us still let our Mammoth run the show. That guy will flat out ignore the information that does not fit in with his view of things. If he’s in charge, you won’t even process the tactical knowledge. You’re too scared.
This is why you have to get your mindset right, first. You have to recognize that the Mammoth’s fears are irrational and that nothing you are afraid of socially is actually scary.
Only THEN can you truly enjoy and geek out over networking tactics that will make your grown-up friendships that much richer, more energizing, and more able to bring you work. Which, ironically, IS what keeps you fed and protected.
So that’s what the 10% know. They know about the Mammoth.
He’s also why I call networking “Attracting Advocates.” Sounds so much nicer, right? That’s because I “network” in a much nicer way. I can teach you to do the same. Learn more about it on my TRANSFORM DIY program page.